Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Passion for Boer History; Looking Back with Di Millar

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Passion for Boer History; Looking Back with Di Millar

Article excerpt

CABARITA resident Dave George is an authority on Boer War memorabilia.

His family background has inspired him to acquire a wealth of knowledge and an amazing collection of militaria on the Boer War in particular and from other eras.

Military service is in Dave's blood with family members having served in both world wars and other conflicts. Dave did national service in South Africa, where he was born in 1948. He left there in 1973, arrived by ship in Perth and afell in love with God's own country.a

Dave stayed on board, stopping at all the capital cities until Sydney where his first job was with the British Motor Corporation. Other jobs followed until Dave took to travelling again. Finally back in South Africa Dave married and in 1980 he and his wife Merle and two small children move to Brisbane. Around 1999 the George family settled permanently in the house Dave had built at Cabarita eight years earlier.

Dave's great great grandfather George Baker who left London in 1820 with his wife and two sons as a settler family under the British Cape Emigration Scheme. The families thought they were fortunate to be given a chance to start a new life as farmers away from the poverty and unemployment that were plaguing Britain at the time. The British Army could not cope with constantly fighting the native Xhosa herders and pastoralists along the disputed frontier of the Cape of Good Hope. The scheme was primarily to create a buffer along the Cape colony's borders with the settlers helping to discourage the locals from raiding across them. Nine Cape Frontier Wars were fought between 1779 and 1879.

Around the age of 13 Dave got started on his collection when a servant found George Baker's rifle from the days of the Frontier Wars in an old family home. Sometime later Dave's maternal grandmother Charity Baker presented him with heirlooms that had belonged to his late grandfather Alfred, an Armourer Sergeant with the Queenstown Rifle Volunteers during the Second Boer War, on condition ayou promise me you will treasure them.a

In addition to Alfred Baker's three service medals Dave was given a Queen Victoria chocolate tin with only three of the original Fryer's chocolates missing and most importantly, Alfred's broken Pattern 1888 Lee-Metford bayonet. …

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